Gregory Thielker

Region: South

“Driving is a spectacular form of amnesia. Everything is to be discovered, everything to be obliterated.”

—Jean Baudrillard, “Vanishing Point,” America (1986)

Inside a car we possess the freedom and facility to navigate the country at will, cross invisible borders, and drive for days on end with stops only to accommodate the most basic needs. Yet the road is a limited pathway, both protecting and guiding our experiences. Breaks or distortions of the view through the windshield can serve to expose and justify the notion of a disassociated external reality. When the seams open in the verisimilitude of our experience, we take note of how and why we perceive in the manner that we do.

In the case of driving in the rain, the abstraction and distortion of water are indexical to the windshield (as smoke can be traced to fire). The result is that painting, per se, can summon a pre-verbal experience, slipping outside of static referents and into a gestalt of sensation, both fixed and fluid.